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EXCLUSIVE | Toronto: Where to Stay

EXCLUSIVE | Toronto: Where to Stay

Gay Stays
There is a nice selection of gay B&Bs convenient to the Village. They're often booked well in advance of the summer months and special events like Pride. Also many have (friendly) dogs. Cawthra Square and Gloucester Square Bed and Breakfast Inns (512-514 Jarvis St, and 10 Cawthra Square; 416-966-3074 or 800-259-5474, fax 416-966-4494; C$99+) are composed of three separate, nearby buildings offering a total of 32 upscale guest rooms and suites, most with private baths.

The Jarvis Street location has two neighboring, nicely restored Victorian mansions with a comfortable old-fashioned boarding house feel and excellent on-site spa services. The Edwardian Cawthra Square location is on a much quieter street and all rooms have private terraces, but there is no reception on-site. All three offer the unusual mix of hotel office-away-from-home conveniences (voicemail, wireless internet, PC, copier) with 4 star B&B individuality and charm.

At Dundonald House (35 Dundonald St; 416-961-9888 or 800-260-7227, fax 416-961-2120; C$75+) you'll feel more like a visitor in someone's home than a guest at an inn. There's a small workout room and sauna, plus, free bikes are available to get around town. Full sit-down breakfast is served daily.

The Toronto Townhouse B&B (213 Carlton St; 416-323-8898 or 877/500-0466;; C$79+) is an Edwardian heritage home in Cabbagetown on a streetcar route. About half of their guests are straight.

The Banting House Inn (73 Homewood Ave; 416-924-1458, 800-823-8856, fax 416-922-2718;; C$85+) is a handsomely decorated, seven-room B&B with a charming garden. The House on McGill (110 McGill St; 416-351-1503 or 877/580-5015;; C$50+), an 1890 Victorian townhouse, has six rooms, including one with private bath. There's a guest kitchen and living room. It sits on a tranquil residential street within walking distance of numerous shops and attractions. Further discounts are offered for students, seniors and others. In the winter season most of their guests are straight.

Best for Luxury
For a quintessential boutique hotel stay, visit the Entertainment District's Soho Metropolitan Hotel (318 Wellington Street West; 866/764-6638 or 416-599-8800, fax 416-599-8801; C$420+). The oversized rooms and suites feature Frette linens, marble baths with heated floors and remote-controlled lighting. An original Chihuly glass sculpture hovers above the hotel entrance and its bar has been known to entice stylish gay boys away from the Village.

Built in 1929 by the Canadian Pacific Railway, The Fairmont Royal York Hotel (100 Front Street West; 416-368-2511 or 800-257-7544, fax 416-368-9040; C$149+) is a grande dame, traditional railway hotel across from the train station and also convenient to many of Toronto's theaters. Double spiral staircase, coffered ceilings, huge sconces, chandeliers and a large Art Deco mural greet you in the block-long lobby. Elsewhere in the building are 1,340 rooms and suites, six places to eat, a health club, spa and four bars.

For a more exclusive (Cher slept here!), less bustling, experience try the Neo-Gothic Windsor Arms (18 St. Thomas St; 877/999-2767 or 416-971-9666, fax 416-921-9121; C$295+) in the upscale shopping district, Yorkville, where the staff to guest ratio is 6 to 1. Here you'll find 26 suites and two rooms of understated formal luxe. The Courtyard Caf? is stunning and the spa has all the latest treats, plus an indoor pool with deck-side fireplace. High Tea is served daily.

The Hazelton Hotel (118 Yorkville Avenue; 416-963-6300 or 866-473-6301; C$650+) claims to be Toronto's only hotel with a Five Star rating. Interior designs are by YabuPushelberg and the restaurant, One by chef Mark McEwan, provides 24 hour room service.

In the same neighborhood, but a bit more affordable, is The Four Seasons (21 Avenue Rd; 800-819-5053 or 416-964-0411, fax 416-964-2301; C$275+). We love the indoor/outdoor pool especially during the winter.

Part One | Part Two

Related Articles:
Toronto: Introduction
Toronto: Where to Eat
Toronto: Where to Play/Meet
Toronto: What to See and Do
Toronto: Where to Shop
Toronto: Resources

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Joe Okonkwo